Valladolid, although an important industrial city, has a lot to offer the visitor. The city lies upon the Rio Pisuerga and within the [ Ribera del Duero] region that famously produces some of the best quality wines in the country. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Castile and Leon and is, as the locals insist, the geographical origin of the Castilian Spanish language.


Being the capital of the ancient region of Castile, Valladolid boasts a rich history tied to cultural figures such as Don Quixote. When Miguel de Cervantes published his first edition of the book in 1604 Valladolid had been reinstated as the capital of the historic kingdom, later to be superceded by Madrid. Interestingly, the only surviving house of Cervantes is also located in Valladolid. Almost a century earlier, in 1506 Christopher Columbus used Valladolid as his final resting place; the house in which he died is now converted into a museum dedicated to his life.

Architecturally, the city retains some fine manifestations of its former glory, examples include; the unfinished cathedral, the church of Santa Maria la Antigua, the Plaza Mayor (the template later used for Madrid and intended for all future main squares in the Castilian-speaking world).

The city hosts a handful of excellent museums that are well worth the visit. For more history, the Museum of Roman Villas Almenara-Puras has sections dedicated to explaining the Roman world in the later period of the empire. Alternately, for something slightly more high-brow, the [ The Herrerian Patio Museum] contains a collection of contemporary Spanish art from 1918 to the present day. Next to the Pisuerga river is the [ Science Musuem] that externally is quite a stunning and original work of architecture. Finally, not to be missed in any visit to the region is the [ Wine Musuem], housed in a castle dating to the 11th century. Inside of the museum are exhibitions including wine through history, the winemaking process and most importantly of all, wine tasting.

The city is also host to one of the foremost (and oldest) international film festivals, the [ Semana Internacional de Cine de Valladolid (Seminci)]. Founded in 1956, the annual Festival is growing in fame and attendance every year.

For a truly traditional and religious spectacle, one must spend a few days over the Easter week in the city. The Semana Santa parades are at once haunting and magical and Valladolid boasts one of the most spectacular in the country.


The main shopping street is Calle Santiago, a pedestrian street that lies between Plaza Mayor and Plaza Zorilla and all international brands can be found along this street. It is also common to see musicians busking along this street. Much of this zone is pedestrianised and all manner of specialist shops can be discovered in this zone.

Positioned in the old town is Spain's number one department store [ El Corte Ingles] where all products can be located; from tailored suits to travel services. Typical of all Spanish towns and cities, the city centre plays host to a Saturday morning market that is near the Science Faculty (Facultad de Ciencias) and on Sundays morning it is behind the Football Stadium.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Eating out in Valladolid is a pleasure that cannot be missed or indeed avoided. The city is famous for offering a more than ample variety of excellent and cheap tapas bars that are to bursting point every Saturday and Sunday lunchtimes. The Spanish culture of popping out to eat some tapas and drink a few cañas or vermouth is still very much alive in the city.

There are two principal zones to live the tapas experience in Valladolid: around La Plaza Mayor on Calle Correos, where bars are on both sides of the street. Recommended are El corcho where the speciality is the tapa of fried cod that is more of a delicacy than its name suggests. Other top places are La cueva, El vino Tinto, El Cantábrico, where the fine regional white vines must be sampled.

The other main tapas zone is San Martín where one can stumble upon El huevo del fraile, the house speciality is sausage covered with pastry. La crocreta is a bar that houses the finest Spanish croquetas around.

The city also has its fair share of excellent restaurants. La Criolla that produces fantastic traditional Spanish food, if a little on the expensive side. A great and very typical Spanish experience is to go to a restaurant with friends and share the tablas that is effectively a board with a large portion of meat, fish cooked in the style of the house, Casa Pedro is an excellent place to sample this tradition. Finally, El Arandino must get a mention for its mouthwatering Lechazo al horno.

The nightlife in Valladolid is extremely vibrant considering it is a relatively small city. Starting in the centre at Calle Doncellas, one can find the odd but charming El desierto rojo that is open until very late and is well worth a visit if only to marvel at the peculiar decoration and atmosphere. La Española or El Herminios are two other well frequented places where one can find a good drink, or two. Both bars are very well located in the centre with very good music and a predominantly 20-30 crowd.

But if you are serious about going out late, then there are options aplenty in the city. Popular "music bars" are scattered all through the zones of Portu, San Miguel and Cantarranas and many are open until the very early hours.

Tourist Information

Calle Acera de Recoletoss/n (Pabellón de Cristal) Valladolid47004

  • Tel: +34 983219310
  • Fax: +34 983217860


Valladolid is now served by its very own modest airport that is approximately 10km from the city centre, at Villanubla. The airport has experienced recent expansion due to the arrival of Ryanair operations. The airline flies to destinations such as London-Stansted, Paris, Brussels-Charleroi, Lisbon, Barcelona and Vigo.

Only two hours drive or train journey is the capital Madrid, where the large airport of Madrid-Barajas serves all major national and international destinations.

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